AskIFAS Powered by EDIS

about page banner

Environmental Horticulture

Editorial Team


New Caladium Cultivars ‘Dots Delight’ and ‘Wonderland’

EP641/ENH1377by Zhanao Deng and Natalia A. PeresDecember 22nd, 2023Caladiums are ornamental aroids valued for their vibrant and morphologically diverse foliage. Grower surveys indicated that they planted more acres of lance-leaved cultivars in recent decades to accommodate rising consumer demand. The caladium breeding program at the UF/IFAS Gulf Coast Research and Education Center has been developing new lance-leaved cultivars that can produce attractive, robust plants with many bright, colorful leaves and improved tuber yield potential. The program has recently released two new lance-leaved cultivars. ‘Dots Delight’ is well suited for use in sunny landscapes, having excellent tolerance to sunburn and strong resistance to the leaf spot disease. Though they may need one to two additional weeks to produce potted plants, tuber yield potential is intermediate to high. ‘Wonderland’ is well suited for potted plant production in sunny or shady landscapes or gardens and has showed good leaf color display, sunburn tolerance, and leaf health.Critical Issue: Agricultural and Food Systems

Homeowner Best Management Practices for the Home Lawn

EP236/ENH979 by Alex J. Lindsey, Marco Schiavon, J. Bryan Unruh, and Laurie E. TrenholmDecember 12th, 2023A healthy lawn is an important component of an urban landscape. Not only do lawns increase the value of a property, but they also reduce soil erosion, filter stormwater runoff, cool the air, and reduce glare and noise. A healthy lawn effectively filters and traps sediment and pollutants that could otherwise contaminate surface waters and groundwater. This publication is intended for those who maintain their own lawn and landscapes.Critical Issue: Water Quality and Conservation

Common Poisonous Houseplant Species in Florida

EP639/ENH1375by Yuvraj Khamare and Chris MarbleOctober 13th, 2023Plants inside our homes, offices, or those used as part of a patio garden have been shown to create a relaxed, productive environment and to improve indoor air quality. Overall, they are efficient, low-cost, and sustainable. While houseplants are safe to grow and provide many benefits, some can be toxic if ingested accidentally, which could be a concern for those with pets or small children. This publication is intended to inform homeowners, home gardeners, pest management professionals, and other plant enthusiasts of some of the most common poisonous plant species used as houseplants in Florida. It should be noted that while photos are provided of each species, there are many variations of each plant described, which could have different foliage color, variegations, slightly different leaf shapes, or flower colors.Critical Issue: Agricultural and Food Systems

Rain Barrel Water Quality in South Florida

EP640/ENH1376by Kimberly Moore, Mica McMillan, and Lorna BravoOctober 10th, 2023Rain barrels are a great way to conserve water, save money, and contribute to a sustainable landscape. However, adoption of rain barrels is low with homeowners concerned about water quality especially from different roof types. Our analysis of nutrients showed that there was no difference in nutrient levels based on roof type. All water samples had low levels of nutrients and no detectable pathogens. Based on our analysis, the water collected from these rain barrels would be safe to use for non-potable uses in the landscape and garden.Critical Issue: Natural Resources and Environment

Ginger, Galangal, and Turmeric Production in Florida

EP638/ENH1374by Paul Fisher, Rosanna Freyre, Celina Gómez, Brian Pearson, Tatiana Sanchez-Jones, Shawn Steed, Wanda Laughlin, Robert Hochmuth, Jeff Wasielewski, Deah Lieurance, Carrie Harmon, Mathews Paret, Lance Osborne, Kevin Athearn, Steven Sargent, Mengzi ZhangAugust 10th, 2023Ginger, galangal, and turmeric (Figure 1) are emerging crops for Florida production. All of these plants are in the Zingiberaceae family and share most aspects of their production. This publication describes production in containers or the field under Florida conditions to help guide growers interested in ginger, turmeric, and galangal production or expanding their market. All species have been evaluated by the UF/IFAS Assessment of Non-native Plants in Florida’s Natural Areas (UF/IFAS Assessment) using the Predictive Tool (an invasion risk assessment) and all present a low risk of invasion in Florida ( Issue: Agricultural and Food Systems